Gartner has released its second-quarter sales stats for the smartphone market, and there are some interesting -- though not particularly surprising -- results in there.
Riding the popularity of its EVO device, which has been a brisk seller despite its much-maligned battery life, HTC has climbed into the top-ten list of smartphone providers worldwide. Checking in at number eight, the Taiwanese company moved 5.9 million phones last quarter, up from 2.4 million in the same period in 2009 -- good for 139 percent year-over-year growth.
Sprint Nextel can't keep its EVO 4G smartphone in stock in some places, the company's chief executive, Dan Hesse, said on Tuesday, citing "better-than-expected demand," rather than the rumored component shortages.
"The device is more popular than we or HTC could foresee," he told reporters, according to Reuters, after his keynote presentation at a Forrester Customer Experience conference. The EVO 4G, made by HTC, is Sprint's first WiMax-compatible phone and has been selling briskly since it's launch on June 4, though not as briskly as Sprint first announced. The carrier had to backtrack on it initial public announcement that it had sold three times the number of EVOs than its two best-selling phones – the Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre – combined over their first three days of availability.
Yesterday Hesse specifically said he didn't think lack of key components was the issue, even though the screen of the EVO is made by Samsung, which is supplying it's own touch-screen Galaxy S smartphone to all four national wireless carriers, including Sprint. Is there really a difference between a parts shortage and too-strong demand for a device? Either way, would-be buyers can't get their hands on it, and have more time to consider other options, like the new iPhone 4, which Apple was able to supply in first-day volume nearing 2 million.
Here's an interesting philosophical question: If a company doesn't quantify its sales, but claims that product A sold X many more units than products B and C combined over Y number of days, does it have to issue a correction when that turns out not to be true? It may not be up there with "If a tree falls in the woods ..." but in tech and telecommunications marketing it's about as close as you get.
The company in question is Sprint, which on Monday generated some headlines (on the day that Apple unveiled the iPhone 4, no less) by announcing massive sales for its new Google Android-based phone, the HTC Evo. Sprint said that on June 4 -- the new 4G smartphone's launch day -- it sold three times the number of Samsung Instinct and Palm Pre phones sold over their first three days of availability combined.